IT was a decision that stunned rugby league and left Hull KR fans seething – yet their co-captain Travis Burns insists last year’s Magic madness was a blessing in disguise.
The Australian stand-off was as bemused as anyone when video referee Steve Ganson somehow failed to notice Hull FC’s Chris Green was offside when scoring the match-winning try in Manchester.
Such was the size of the blunder, the Rugby Football League had to apologise afterwards, though incensed Rovers chairman Neil Hudgell labelled that as “empty and tokenistic”.
Burns admits that defeat will not be far from the players’ minds when they reconvene in Manchester again tomorrow evening – but he added a caveat.
“It still gets thrown around a bit,” he said. “Everyone saw the call and it’s a game we should have won.
“But that’s football. Sometimes you get the decision and sometimes you don’t, but when you look at it that was probably the turning point of our season.
“We went on to win five straight games after that. It really kicked us on as we were so hard done by and we found form. But we want to right the wrongs of last year too.”
Neither side is in great form with Rovers in ninth spot on 10 points just behind eighth-placed Hull FC by virtue of a poorer points difference.
But Burns, expected to shake off a head knock suffered in Saturday’s 16-16 draw at Salford, said: “It is a crucial match for both teams.
“There’s daylight at the top between Leeds Rhinos, St Helens and the rest.
“But from fifth spot there’s teams in the mid-teens who have got some tough games coming up.
“We’ve Hull and then London next week so if we could get a couple of wins we could probably set our season up.”
Rovers welcome back prop Jonathan Walker from suspension with Wayne Ulugia left out while Ben Crooks and Josh Bowden are dropped by Hull, Jordan Rankin and Dean Hadley recalled instead.